Tar Heels Drop CWS Opener To Wolfpack
Rodon held the No. 1 national seed Tar Heels hitless into the fifth inning. He allowed five hits and struck out eight.
It was the sophomore left-hander's second straight dominating performance against the Tar Heels. The result was more satisfying this time. Three weeks ago he allowed one hit and struck out 14 in 10 innings but got no decision in a 2-1, 18-inning loss in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament.
The Wolfpack's first CWS appearance since 1968 will continue Tuesday when it plays LSU. The Tar Heels (57-11), in Omaha for the sixth time in eight years, are one loss from elimination.
Brett Williams, Bryan Adametz and Logan Ratledge had two hits apiece for the Wolfpack (50-14), with Ratledge driving in two runs out of the No. 9 hole.
NC State and Carolina, whose campuses are 28 miles apart, were meeting for the 285th time in baseball but never on this big a stage.
Rodon thrived on it.
He opened by walking Chaz Frank on four pitches, then retired 14 straight batters before Brian Holberton singled up the middle on a first-pitch fastball with two out in the fifth inning.
Rodon got help from a defense that turned two double plays. The first one ended the seventh inning after the Tar Heels had a runner at second with one out. The second came after Holberton singled leading off the eighth.
The Tar Heels broke through in the ninth, with Frank singling leading off and Landon Lassiter following with an RBI double.
Emanuel was nothing like he was two years ago at the CWS when he threw a four-hit shutout against Texas as a freshman.
Emanuel failed to make it out of the third inning for the second straight start, and the Tar Heels tied a CWS record by using eight pitchers.